Mejia downplays back issue after loss

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
4:53
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Mets closer Jenrry Mejia acknowledged he was dealing with tightness in his left side/lower back while he surrendered the game-deciding run in the ninth inning Monday in a 4-3 loss to the Giants.

Mejia revealed he had a similar problem a month ago and was fine after going unused for a couple days. Nonetheless, he insisted it was no factor in Monday's performance.

Mejia entered with the score tied in the ninth inning and quickly recorded two outs. He then surrendered a single to Gregor Blanco and walked Buster Posey to bring up Pablo Sandoval.

Sandoval reached out with one hand and went to the opposite field, producing a run-scoring ground-rule double to break the tie. That snapped an eight-inning scoreless streak for Mejia.

"It was out of the zone," Mejia said. "A curveball out of the zone. He got it. I don't know how he got it. I thought that was a foul ball. I thought I threw a curveball for a ball, but he swung and he got it."

Said manager Terry Collins: "He got in trouble when he walked Buster. ... The next guy [Sandoval] is really tough -- really tough on right-handers. I mean, he's got great numbers against right-handed pitching. If you saw the replay of it, he hits anything. He hits the ball off the plate. He hits it all over the field. That's why they're a good team, because that guy drives a lot of runs in."

It was a rare day overall for the back end of the bullpen. Jeurys Familia failed to hold a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning as well. It marked only the second time this season that both relievers allowed a run in the same game. The other instance came on July 4 against Texas, when each gave up one unearned run.

Gee sharper: Dillon Gee showed at least modest improvement in Monday's outing compared to his recent struggles since returning from the disabled list. Gee got a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.

"The last game I thought I threw the ball pretty well. The results just weren't there," Gee said. "It was a little hit-or-miss today. I wasn't exactly on, but I felt like I battled pretty well out there. I'm a 'feel' guy. I'm not going to overpower anybody. So I think it's just getting back in the groove and finding the release point on all of the pitches, just getting that feel back of going out and competing."

Say what? What did Collins say to home-plate umpire Ben May after Lucas Duda was called out on strikes to end the seventh inning, which led to Collins' ejection? "I thought the ball to Dan [Murphy] was low, but the ball to Lucas was quite obviously low. One of the things you say is, 'Hey, this is a big part of the game. These guys are paid to swing the bat. They don't want to walk. If that pitch is that close, Lucas Duda would have been swinging.' That was my version of it -- nicely."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187